The Katzen Cancer Center is directed by Dr. Robert Siegel, Chair of the Board and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology. Daily management is provided by Leo Schargorodski, Executive Director.

Robert SiegelRobert S. Siegel, M.D.

Director of the Katzen Cancer Research Center
Professor of Medicine; Director, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Dr. Siegel has played an instrumental role in the development and growth of cancer programs at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). An alumnus of SMHS, Dr. Siegel returned to GW in 1982 as a faculty member and spearheaded the effort to create an oncology unit. Continuing to advance cancer initiatives, he established a Cancer Conference and Tumor Board and, in 1985, a certified hospital tumor registry. Dr. Siegel was appointed director of the Oncology Unit in 1983, and then became chairman of the Cancer Committee in 1987, director of the Clinical Cancer Center in 1993, and, finally, director of Division of Hematology and Oncology and a professor of Medicine.

Dr. Siegel also continues to provide exceptional service to his patients, and has been repeatedly recognized as one of Washingtonian magazine’s top doctors. In addition, he received the Humanitarian of the Year award in 2005. An ardent researcher, he was among the first to document that young African American women were prone to develop more aggressive cancer when compared to their Caucasian or Hispanic counterparts.

Upon graduation from SMHS, Dr. Siegel completed his residency and fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, and has clinical interests in breast, head, and neck cancers.

As the Director of the Katzen Cancer Research Center, Dr. Siegel serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors. He is responsible for ensuring progress in implementing the research, clinical care, and patient programs of the Center and oversees the Center’s staff. Dr. Siegel works closely with the Executive Director of the Center.


Leo SchargorodskiLeo Schargorodski

Executive Director of the Katzen Cancer Research Center

Leo Schargorodski is the first Executive Director of the Center. Mr. Schargorodski’s background is in non-profit health charities, including the National Osteoporosis Foundation, where he was Executive Director; the American Nurses Foundation, where he was Executive Director and Chief Development Officer for the American Nurses Association; the American Diabetes Association, where he was the founding Executive Director of their Research Foundation as well as National Vice President for Development and seventeen years with the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Mr. Schargorodski ’s priorities include working with Dr. Siegel and the Katzen Center’s Board of Directors to build capacity to pursue the dream of Dr. Cyrus and Mrs. Myrtle Katzen.  He will be focusing on establishing research programs and fundraising to fund those research programs to speed the fight against all forms of cancer and promote the cancer research agenda of George Washington University. 

He has implemented the Innovative Cancer Pilot Research Grant Program, utilizing Katzen funds, as well as funds donated by corporations, foundations and individuals, in a program to stimulate collaborative investigation involving at least one researcher from each of The George Washington University and GW Medical Faculty Associates in unique and novel cancer research at the translational and clinical levels to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, reduce mortality and improve the quality of life of Americans with cancer. Collaborating with the other departments and divisions of GW, such as the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Mr. Schargorodski hopes to foster a sense of partnership in cancer research.  He will be responsible for ensuring progress in implementing goals, programs and campaigns, as well as fostering an environment that attracts and engergizes outstanding volunteer leaders.